Rainy Weather Adventures in Sunny California

It never rains in Sunny California, or rather, almost never. We are taken by surprise by a late November storm with horizontal rain, strong winds and dramatic black, purple and grey clouds intersected by short sporadic bouts of sunshine. Driving in rainy weather is one of those extremely rare sensations. In California we are about as challenged by slick wet asphalt and worn out window wipers as the East Coast is challenged by snow and sleet.  We are so blessed by sunny warm weather most of the year, that we felt like creeping under a warm cover, but the day – and life – is just too short for such selfish miserable pity feelings.

Windy weather embraces Newport beach, CA
Windy weather embraces Newport beach, CA

I remembered how the Germans love to encounter severe weather, whether rainy, windy and bitterly cold beaches in Denmark during winter storms – or the hottest sweltering days in the desert of Death Valley, Nevada during August (so hot venturing outside your air conditioned car can be deadly.  

Dressed for the wind and weather

Today we chose to embrace the weather, found weather proof sailing jackets and baseball caps and took a walk on the windy beach at the long, wide and sandy Newport Beach to let the wind and sand sweep into our faces. Powerful waves were beating the sandy beaches, foam was gathering along the edge of the water.

Whisking cold waves

The seagulls were all facing into the wind, in strange, seemingly non-sociable large formations, to keep their feathers straight. No day for ruffled feathers. Wonderful unique photo opportunities of rare weather phenomena were everywhere. A kite surfer was whisking back and forth creating a great daring spectacle with his bright orange kite for the less daring and adventurous of us.

The seaguls are facing the wind to keep their feathers unruffled
The seagulls are facing the wind to keep their feathers unruffled

The pier was standing strong and somber against the sinister looking waves, and a walk into the ocean was a stronger, more challenging sensation of wind power. This was not a perfect day for surfing or fishing. A different day in otherwise sunny California. The skinny palms were bending dangerously in the wind.

Kite boarding on a glorious windy weather day

Written by Zia Hansen. Photography by Zia Hansen

A Temporary Place Where Light, Geometry And Reflections Capture The Poetic Beauty Of Ocean And Place

Some of the best, most memorable experiences are temporary. In a fleeting moment, time comes and goes, as a reflection of what was, is, or could be.

Beacons of light
Beacons of light

For 3 days only, a quarter mile arc of seemingly ephemeral reflection poles embrace the ocean while reflecting it day and night. During day reflecting the white sand, the blue sky, clouds and ocean. At sunset they capture the beauty of the ocean and become beacons of light, changing colors minute by minute; at night they capture the glow of the city, traffic lights and moving cars. It is a truly engaging, captivating and moving art encounter. Tall square polished chrome poles are carefully measured, engineered and installed to all be emanating from the same vantage point in the ocean.

Reflecting time, space and light
Reflecting time, space and light
Seemingly a wall of reflection during sunset time at a certain vantage point
Seemingly a wall of reflection during sunset time at a certain vantage point

The ¼ Mile Arc art installation by artist Phillip K. Smith III embraces Laguna Beach for 3 days only, from November 4-6 as a commissioned installation of the Art & Nature Festival sponsored by Laguna Beach Art Museum. What a wonderful eye opening installation. Watching peoples surprising encounters, wonderment and photo explorations was mesmerizing. How I wish it could remain much longer than just 3 days. How I wish I could camp out on the beach day and night to capture each fleeting changing moment of time.  Sometimes the fleeting memories of passion and love enrich life forever, lights a tiny flickering candle of magic memory in your soul forever.

How fortunate we are to be able to experience this mesmerizing fleeting moment in time – and to have the opportunity to reflect, wonder and capture some of the moments for eternity.

During the sunset hour the markers become beacons of light, reflection the changing colors of the setting sun and ocean reflections
During the sunset hour the markers become beacons of light, reflection the changing colors of the setting sun and ocean reflections

 A temporary marker of changing light and reflections in Laguna Beach, a permanent marker in the soul of everyone who has experienced an hour of sunset with sandy toes – or a foggy morning embraced by a veil of mysterious beach fog.

A temporary spectacular seemingly ephemeral installation merges with the ocean – hurry up, grab your best friend and a camera and head to Laguna Beach at the Boardwalk, California. Open day and night for free for 3 days only, from November 4-6, 2016. Sponsored by Laguna beach Art Museum. Best time to watch the sunset is 5:45PM to 6:45PM.

Written by Zia Hansen. Photography by Zia Hansen